Clean your room! Watch your mouth! Don’t stay up too late! Who was correct – the parent spouting this common advice, or the teenager sighing and rolling her eyes with exasperation? Surprisingly, science has come to side with the latter. According to research, these often-discouraged tendencies can correlate with high intelligence, creativity, and a broad vocabulary.
Basically, your parents couldn’t handle your beautiful and advanced mind. They were probably intimidated by your genius. Thanks for trying to reign us in Mom and Dad, but as our homes, mouths, and sleep schedules can attest, all of your effort couldn’t stifle the power of our very magnificent brains!
Let’s start with your f*cking foul potty mouth. Bad language has long been seen as a sign of low intelligence, lack of education, and poor upbringing. Well, sh*t. Maybe we were all wrong.
A study published in Language Sciences determined that people who swear more frequently actually have broader vocabularies than those who do not.
This applies to all areas of language – not just the filthy ones. For anyone with a truly and profoundly dirty mouth – or even for those of us who just slip on occasion – this news is just fucking fantastic!
If you’re cursing from the comfort of your cluttered desk, we have even more good news.
A messy work space or living environment used to be seen as a sign that its owner was lazy and apathetic. According to a recent study, however, we can throw this assumption out the window. New research on the effect of environment on thinking, conducted by psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs and her fellow researchers at the University of Minnesota, was recently published in the academic research journal Psychological Science. Their findings provide valuable insight as to why your parents may have favored a clean room over a messy one. While a tidy room encourages collaboration and obedience, the researchers found, a messy one may promote creative thinking. “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” Vohs concluded. “Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.” While an orderly and obedient child is much easier to raise, it is a free-thinking one who will change the world.
If you were a night owl as a teen, today’s research may go even further in validating your life choices.
Studies on teenagers, sleep patterns, and that young people who stay up late may actually be smarter than those who wake up early. This may come as a surprise, not only because of the stereotypes surrounding teen night owls, but also in light of data that suggests early risers usually earn higher marks in school. The results of the study showed that, although their grades were lower, the teenagers who were classified as night owls scored higher on inductive reasoning tests. This kind of intelligence has been shown to correlate closely with general intelligence and a capacity for innovative thinking. It is also linked to higher monetary income later in life. The discrepancy between grades and intelligence is likely due to the fact that most high schools start very early, disrupting a night owl’s sleep patterns.
Messy, foul-mouthed night owls can rejoice – you are geniuses!
Those who do not fit this mold, however, can still take something positive from the above research. Don’t play into what society tells you about your strengths and weaknesses based on outward appearances. Be who you are, and encourage others to do the same. You never know what valuable skills may be hiding beneath an imperfect exterior.